life Parenting Work

Things Noted

November 9, 2021

Taking Notes. I saw my resident taking notes yesterday. It warmed my heart. It always surprises me how few of them do this — and this hasn’t changed. I remember being an outlier among my peers when I would sit in conference with a little notebook, capturing the highlights of neonatal reflux or chronic kidney disease, whatever the topic of the day.

Did I DO anything with those notes? Absolutely not.

Did the PROCESS of taking those notes help me learn? I really think so. And it still does! I am so much more engaged at meetings or lectures where I take notes, preferably on paper.

I have noticed that the strongest residents seem to be my note-takers. It could be an unrelated marker of who is more invested in learning (ie, not causal). But I don’t know. I think people should take more notes.

Currently: Trying to decide whether to attend today’s 7:30 am meeting in person or virtually (they announced it was in person late last week, since our local case rates are low!). In person is preferred, but not required and I would rather not leave Josh in the lurch by leaving at 6:45 am (I did not warn him anything about this and he is driving the kids today — and I wouldn’t really want to be in that position!).

I do need to go to work in person but not until 2 pm and feel I would be much more efficient at home so . . . I think I will attend from home. But you can probably hear the guilt in my writing! Next month I will know ahead of time + go in person.

Daylight savings. For the first time since A was born, the time change seems to have gone . . . fine? They were up early-ish yesterday (~6:20) but not obscenely early to the point where it was intrusive. They are no longer throwing tantrums about the light hurting their eyes in the AM (because this way it’s already light out when they get up). They went to bed SOOO nicely yesterday. One of my children has been noticeably better behaved. Maybe they needed more sleep!? Can we just move to a 25 hour day?


I am fascinated by the drawings A produces (at a prolific rate). I do not know where she comes up with her concepts – she’s always creating and naming characters and writing slogans.

I really like this one and it is going on my office door

Time for Way More Lunges than I am really in the mood for (this one!).


  • Reply Arden November 9, 2021 at 6:52 am

    I love the drawing! I love the creativity kids have. You should get her a sketch pad so she can see them all together and the improvement over time.

    • Reply Helena Murphy November 9, 2021 at 7:38 am

      Not only impressed by her drawing skill, but by the neatness of her handwriting! A note-taker in the works? By the way, you only have to be at work at TWO PM, please no guilt about taking the virtual route for a meeting 6 hours earlier than you need to be there. They all know you are not a slacker! Thank you.

  • Reply Mrs. Candid November 9, 2021 at 8:26 am

    A’s drawing and the slogan is so cute … and the little warning sign about the sharks 😆 so creative… please keep sharing more of her drawings.

  • Reply Cindy November 9, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Gosh I love South Florida ( our son graduated U of Miami Med School and so enjoyed our frequent trips to visit). I enjoy your blog. With all the in person – on line person meetings I know my Husband Says the Fellows really do enjoy the in person so much. Love the drawing! Take care.

  • Reply Shelly November 9, 2021 at 8:30 am

    I agree about not feeling guilty. If anything the pandemic has taught us is that we do not need to be in person to be productive and flexibility does not change that productivity factor but can improve our overall balance to the day. I am also a note taker! Although I always feel like I should do something with the notes. Occasionally it would be nice to look back on some notes but mine aren’t very organized. Then I can’t find anything. Do you have a system for notes you want to reference later?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 9, 2021 at 8:35 am

      Nope!!! Totally end up recycling most of them.
      My resident said she had an elaborate Evernote system where she puts highlights from her written notes. Impressive!

  • Reply Sarah November 9, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Glad to hear daylight savings was easier! Still think you would enjoy this:

  • Reply VSH November 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

    I’m a note taker too! I tried to take my notes on an iPad mini so they would be searchable. I couldn’t do it- has to be paper for me. This is one reason I love the Hobonichi- I use the daily pages to take notes during meetings/conferences/studying for boards. It has helped tremendously to refer back to meeting notes organized by date!

  • Reply Margaret Anderson November 9, 2021 at 11:07 am

    I love note taking as well! I have a corporate attorney friend that took notes meticulously in his Franklin Planners. His notes from 20 years ago ended up being used in a federal court case . They really helped the case!

  • Reply Danielle November 9, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    It amazes me that more people don’t take notes! I started a new career field 5 years ago and for the first couple months I kept a notebook on me. I took notes while being trained and then I took notes when something came up that caused a learning opportunity. The best part, I think, is that at the end of each day I answered a simple journaling prompt, “What did I learn today?”

    Later when I applied for a promotion I happened to be asked at the interview, “Explain to us a time that you dealt with a large task/project and how did you accomplish it?” I literally had that same note book with me in my purse. I pulled it out and explained to the panel how I organized and therefore utilized the insane amount of detail and information that was thrown at me my first few months with the organization. Huge interview win!

    I’m glad the kids made it through the time change smoothly!

  • Reply omdg November 9, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    I take notes on my patients, my meetings, everything. They help me remember things even if I never go back to them. The patient notes I dispose of securely, but the meeting notes I keep organized by notebook (each meeting has a title and a date), and my meeting notebooks are labeled by date as well if I ever need to refer back to something.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 9, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    I’m also a note taker! I learn by writing so I am more apt to remember something if I write it down. You should have seen the binders of notes I took when studying for the CFA example (really difficult 3-level finance exam). My husband filled part of a notebook. We both passed. He is one of those people who remembers things sooo easily, though. Excpt a lot of what I tell him, like when we have plans, etc. 😉

    I would have opted for virtual, too. I try to be available to help get the kids out the door. My husband drives them about 3-4 days/week and it’s so much easier with both of us there. I did leave for a run with my neighbor a handful of times this summer but he griped about it so I try not to do that anymore. Our toddler can be tough in the morning and he does much better with me.

    I wish I could say the end of DST was not an issue for us! The baby seems to be doing better? He slept until 6:20 today but was up at 5:30 yesterday. The 3.5yo was up at 5:15 the last 3 days. It felt like 6:15 on Sunday and my husband got up with him to give me a break (since I was up with him at 5:30 the day before). He oddly did not seem tired last night but he naps at daycare and I think he’s ready to be done napping so that isn’t helping!

  • Reply Elisabeth November 9, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    I love taking notes. I often don’t review them, but find it crucial for the purposes of concentration.
    Like another commentor’s past experience, I’ve just assumed a new working role and have been taking notes like crazy. Every meeting is documented; for a while I was typing up the highlights, but lately I’ve stopped and just note the date/topic/attendees and refer back. It has been incredibly helpful in the onboarding process.

    I’m always shocked how few people take notes. It’s second nature to me…how do they process and pay attention?! I knew people in university who would just sit through lectures and never write down a word. It boggled my mind. I would aim to write to every single word a professor said (and think I got pretty darn close). I would then consolidate my notes, and then often do this several more times until I had 4-5 pages of the highlights from a class – studying from each tier of notes over the course of reviewing for exams. It worked for me, but those people that just sat and listened always seemed to ace the tests with their method too (maybe they ended up bumming notes off a friend?!)

  • Reply Coree November 10, 2021 at 5:24 am

    I teach first year university students and I’m so perplexed by the lack of note-taking. They mostly have laptops but despite their rapid typing, I suspect they aren’t taking down my every word. The students who engage more are often the students that have a notebook, less distractions I suspect.

    I take lots of notes for things, digitally if it’s something I’d want to reference later, by hand if it’s a way of brainstorming ideas or keeping my attention. I have been using Notion which seems to be a geek-y version of evernote but I really like it. It seems to be meant for coders and I appreciate you can do lots of things without using your mouse. The phone version is also very good.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 10, 2021 at 5:33 am

      I downloaded Notion and was immediately overwhelmed 🙂

  • Reply Joy November 10, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Note taker here, too. I have notebooks separated by topic and use them to take notes everywhere. As others have said, even if I never look back at them, they helped me to concentrate during the sessions/meetings. However, when I do go back and reread and consolidate my notes, the information becomes even more embedded in my mind.

    Notion is super fun and super overwhelming. I love it but am still figuring it out. OneNote works better for me for saving stuff and taking notes.

  • Reply Mara November 10, 2021 at 7:33 am

    I am an avid note taker, but rarely look back on them The writing process definitely helps my (terrible) memory. Temped to get a ReMarkable 2 tablet to better organize my writing vs multiple notebooks.

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